Chief Operating Officer, Santa Clara County (Retired)
Gary Graves has served on the Third Sector Advisory Board since it’s inception in 2016.
Mr. Graves recently retired as the Chief Operating Officer for Santa Clara County, California. Mr. Graves spent 32 years in various capacities with Santa Clara County including Budget Director, Deputy County Executive, Assistant County Executive and Acting County Executive. During his tenure with the County Mr. Graves was responsible for the resource allocation process and during his time as Chief Operating Officer the internal management of the County organization. Santa Clara County currently has a budget of over $6 billion and close to 20,000 employees. Prior to coming to Santa Clara County, Mr. Graves worked as a Principal Analyst in the Office of Management and Budget for the City of New York where he was responsible for Police services.
In recent years Mr. Graves was able to focus on the development of several new initiatives and lead their implementation. These include AB-109 (Public Safety Realigment) where Santa Clara County became the State wide model for creating a Re-Entry process for individuals coming out of the State Correctional system. Mr. Graves also led the County’s effort to reorganize homeless services to focus on Housing First; a program designed to address the growing number of homeless in the County. It was through this effort that Mr. Graves was introduced to Pay for Success and Third Sector. Santa Clara County became the first County in California to implement a Pay for Success project in 2015. A second project was implemented in FY 2017.
Mr. Graves continues to be interested in moving local government toward outcome based decision making and continues to work with staff in Santa Clara County and other California Counties to make this a focus for the future.